As many of you know, I made a lifestyle change back in February. I needed to lose about eight pounds, and someone told me about a book called, “The Skinny Rules”. I embraced it and lost all eight pounds in less than two weeks. I have since been using the rules I learned to maintain my weight. I’ve blogged about some of the simple, but very successful rules like drinking water.
Well, I would like to share with you another great rule that has become a part of my life. I’m talking about the chapter, “Eat Your Vegetables–Just Do It.”
I love fruit and vegetables, and this is a good thing because we’re learning every day about the health benefits of a healthy diet. We also know now that variety is as important as the quantity we eat. USDA encourages us to eat plenty–at least five portions a day.
So, I love vegetables now, but this was not always the case. As a child I was known as the “picky” eater in my family. Mom used to say, “Ann’s afraid she might get a vitamin.” I was that little kid in the cartoon who stood by his first planted garden and upon seeing the cabbage, broccoli and carrots said, “I never thought my seeds would turn on me like this”.
The health benefits of vegetables and fruits are massive. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check. All of these attributes are important as we age.
Also, vegetables when prepared correctly are low in calories, which brings me to how I was raised to cook vegetables. Good southern vegetables are not necessarily low in calories. They are wonderfully laced with bacon drippings, ham hocks, and all kinds of fatty wonders.
“The Skinny Rules” showed me another way to cook my vegetables. It included recipes on how to roast several different kinds of veggies, and it had weeks of menus prepared which gave me an opportunity to eat up to nine portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
Roasting vegetables in a very hot oven gives them a caramelized exterior, and it adds a burst of flavor while keeping the inside moist and tender. This showy cooking method easily feeds a crowd or just a couple, and it lets you choose the vegetables. It is easy, but a little time consuming, so once a week I roasted three or four vegetable dishes, stored them in the refrigerator, and ate on them for the remainder the week. They keep well in the refrigerator; and Harold loved them, too.
Here’s are others related changes that I made. I keep some fruit and vegetables where I can see it. I’m more likely to eat it, plus many like tomatoes taste better if they are never refrigerated.
I tried new products. Variety is the key, and I like to try new things. I discovered Jerusalem Artichokes doing this. Just google to see if roasting is a possibility. Some vegetables roast better than others, but most vegetables will do.
Here is some basic information. Roast your vegetables at high heat, about 450 degrees. This way, they will caramelize on the outside. This adds to the taste. Just line the pan with foil. It helps with the cleanup. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and lemon juice. This will keep them from drying out, and it adds to the flavor. Add some herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, or sage. I google to see which herbs go best with which vegetables. Don’t crowd the vegetables in the pan.
Betty Crocker bhg.com has a good page for this, Roast about 30 minutes turning or stirring at least once. This is so simple to do, love it! And I love the flavor too.
Now back to “The Skinny Rules”. Here’s the best part of all!
I was literally unable to eat all the vegetables I was allowed to eat. Not enough room in my tummy.